Former Atomic 212 CEO Jason Dooris admits to using fake names to post anti-agency comments on Mumbrella

Former CEO of Atomic 212 Jason Dooris has admitted to hiding behind a host of fake names to post multiple critical and cryptic comments on Mumbrella stories, most directed at his former agency.

Dooris, pictured in 2016

Several of the comments even purported to have been submitted by senior executives working in the industry.

Lawyers acting for Dooris have now demanded they be removed from the Mumbrella website “so that they are no longer able to be viewed by the public”. 

Melbourne law firm Lamplugh McIntosh took the highly unusual step of giving Mumbrella seven days to ‘permanently delete’ 36 comments he posted under pseudonyms.

While no reason was given for the request – Lamplugh McIintosh has not responded to Mumbrella’s legal representatives – Dooris is embroiled in a bitter legal dispute with Atomic 212 and its chairman Barry O’Brien.

Dooris exited Atomic 212 in February 2018 after a Mumbrella investigation revealed he had made a number of misleading and exaggerated claims within entries for industry awards.

Chair O’Brien

Dooris has since made serious allegations of fraud against Atomic 212, while agency bosses have countered by accusing him of deliberately sabotaging the business.

All but one of the 36 comments listed by lawyers were submitted anonymously by Dooris and appeared under various pseudonyms, including Prince William, Jibbering Fool, Harvey Weinstein and Barry Watch.

They were all submitted between March 2018 and May 2020. Most were published, while around a dozen were not approved for publication by Mumbrella content moderators.

In its letter to Mumbrella, Dooris’s lawyers said: “Our client requires that the publications [Dooris’s comments] are permanently deleted from the Mumbrella website so that they are no longer able to be viewed by the public.

“We therefore request that within seven days… permanently delete the publications. Further we request that you do not publish the publications on any website in the future.”

In light of the new information, Mumbrella has decided to remove the comments written by Dooris from the website as they do not comply with the previous comment moderation policy. 

James Dixon

Among the comments’ lawyers have asked to be removed are four it said Dooris made under various pseudonyms on a story headlined ‘Atomic212 MD Ian Czencz exits’.

The article, from March 2019, detailed that Atomic 212 founding partner James Dixon had taken over

Writing as ‘Stuart’, Dooris wrote: “Word on the street is they are trying to sell Atomic but no one is buying. The market has turned.”

In another comment on the same story, Dooris used the pseudonym ‘Sue Who’ and provided the email address of Sue Squillace, then CEO of Spark Foundry, in the submitted comment.

‘Sue Who’ wrote: “Who is James Dixon? Again with respect I’ve never heard of him. Never come across him in a pitch. Never seen him at an MFA meeting. Never met him at an industry function…..Who is this guy that in his first agency job can dispose someone of Ian’s experience and standing.”

Two months later, Mumbrella reported that Nicole McInnes had departed as CMO of telco Ovo, a company backed by Barry O’Brien.

Under the moniker ‘Commonality Crown’, Dooris took a shot at O’Brien’s track record and told the industry to “stop pinning failure on the marketing function”.

He then responded to his own comment using the name ‘I Am Nelson’, writing: “@Commonality Crown I like…..Baz off and take responsibility.”

A year prior, and just two months after his exit from Atomic 212, Dooris responded to news that health fund NIB, a client of Atomic 212, was reviewing its media buying.

Using the username ‘Rabbit’, Dooris questioned a conflict of interest at the agency, before submitting a comment as ‘Hayden’ which said: “Who runs Atomic these days? It’s like they have fallen off the map or something?”

Another comment, from ‘Old world vs new world’ suggested Atomic has “had a few bumps recently”.

“This could actually be a really interesting pitch to watch from a distance…..Atomic….have scrapped creativity and exited their creative team.”

Another comment which Dooris’s lawyers wanted removed, but which in fact was never published, was submitted by Dooris under the user name Mrs Sith and included the GroupM email address of Tim Whitfield.

Dooris also posted several comments on a story about Atomic being reappointed as media agency for the NT Government. One, under the user name Director OMI praised the agency while another, under Anonymrs, tore into Atomic 212. Neither were published by Mumbrella.


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